Each has had enough guts to speak up about his experience with prostate
cancer - a sensitive health subject that most men avoid like the plague.
When I was diagnosed with prostate cancer nine years ago, there were few
men willing to be publicly identified with the disease.
has proclaimed September National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, a month
in which 1,330 men in Florida are expected to hear the words, "You have
prostate cancer." In this country, a new case of prostate cancer is
diagnosed about every three minutes; approximately 221,000 additional
cases each year. It is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in
American men - one in six eventually develop it; almost 29,000 American
men lose their lives to prostate cancer each year - one death every 20
minutes. In Florida in 2003, almost 16,000 men will be diagnosed as
having it, and more than 2,000 will die from it.
This year, more cases of prostate cancer in men under age 65 are
expected than the combined number of cases of leukemia, Hodgkins's disease
and brain tumors in men of all ages.
Symptoms of prostate cancer include: difficulty starting urination;
urinating frequently during the night; painful urination; and bone pain.
Often there are no symptoms, which is why screening becomes so important.
The prostate gland is part of the male reproductive system. It is
about the same size and shape as a walnut and weighs only about one ounce.
One of the reasons men don't want to talk about prostate cancer is the
fear that the disease and treatment for it can affect the patient's sexual
capability. The prostate produces the fluid that carries semen.
Several states have passed legislation mandating prostate cancer
education awareness programs, which have proved effective in saving lives.
Unfortunately, although Florida is number 2 in the nation with new cases,
we have been unsuccessful in getting a prostate cancer education bill
passed by our state Legislature.
Fortunately for families in the Tampa Bay area, men and women can find
out the truth about prostate cancer and other health issues at a day-long
Town Hall Meeting on Men's Health next Saturday. The even runs from
7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Tampa Convention Center. Admissions FREE, but
preregistration is required. Register online at
or call (813) 806-1800.
This town hall meeting on men's health issues will provide detailed
information about prostate and colon cancer, diabetes, heart disease,
stroke and hypertension.
The town hall meeting is a collaborative community partnership with
volunteers, local government, hospitals, healthcare providers, churches
and civic and community organizations to help address these major health
Don't delay, get tested and stay alive. Don't let the
uncomfortableness of the subject of prostate cancer keep you from getting
educated. Being informed can save your life or the life of someone